Freeskiing stars are flying through New England parks and pipes this month.
Look for Olympic silver women’s ski slopestyle medalist Devin Logan at Mount Snow’s Carinthia Freeski Open March 14-15. The 21-year-old grew up in West Dover, Vt., and attended Mount Snow Academy.
The pros compete for cash while amateurs are awarded gear in the Association of Freeskiing Professionals certified event in the extra large Inferno park that’s also hosted X Games and Dew Tour slopestyle.
Another hometown hero takes to Sunday River March 28-29 during the AFP platinum-rated Dumont Cup. X Games icon Simon Dumont oversees the course design that includes the expertise of Snow Park Technologies.
The pro-am event was first held in 2009 and has helped the careers of many youthful skiers. As amateurs, both Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper — the silver and bronze medal winners part of the American men’s ski slopestyle sweep in Sochi — won the Cup.
Cats on the prowl
The undefeated University of Vermont skiing Catamounts are in Park City, Utah, for the NCAA Championships and up against formidable Western schools including defending champion Colorado, host Utah, and New Mexico.
The Catamounts, six-time national champs, finished the EISA Carnival season unbeaten for the second consecutive year and have also won 14 straight Carnivals.
Dartmouth is the other Eastern school sending a full squad too.
Fat tire bicycles are rolling across terrain suited for cross country skiers. The fat bikes are characterized by super-wide low-pressure tires allowing cyclists to pedal through the snow on packed trails.
A recent Cross Country Ski Areas Association survey found at least 28 touring centers across the country allowing fat tire riders with a trail pass.
Vermont’s Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston and Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton allow them as do a couple of trail networks known for mountain biking — Kingdom Trails in East Burke and Millstone Trails Association by Barre which is complimentary this winter.
“I think New England may be a bit behind the curve,” said New England Mountain Bike Association executive director Philip Keyes. “There are so many great places to ride that you really don’t need a cross country area. But I think we may see more areas offering it. There is a market for fat tire bikers to pay to play.”
Some riders even use handmade grooming devices to pack down narrow and twisting trails.
Etiquette and compatibility are main concerns among Nordic operators.
Last Friday some 30 riders showed up for a test run at Great GlenTrails in Pinkham Notch, N.H.
“The bikers were very wiling to work with us,” said retail manager Nate Harvey. “I think it may work out best here on our snowshoe trails.”
Deals and such
March Madness takes all forms on the slopes, including ticket bargains. Pats Peak in Henniker, N.H. features a sliding scale of online midweek ticket discounts with $35 tickets through Friday, $30 passes March 10-14 and $25 fees March 17-21 . . . Attitash and Wildcat feature $40 Friday lift tickets all month . . . There are $19 lift tickets at Shawnee Peak’s New England Ski Day Friday. Just show your New England driver’s license . . . Starting Monday, Wachusett drops its Sunday-Thursday adult night skiing tickets to $39 as the mountain closes at 8 p.m . . . Great Barrington’s Ski Butternut lowers every day lift ticket prices to $25 starting March 17. Ski midweek for that price now . . . Subaru and Hyundai owners get a free lift ticket at Bolton Valley March 14. The Vermont ski area has $19 Friday night lift tickets from 7-10 p.m. through March 21.